11 September 2010

A Simpler Time, by Peter FitzSimons

I heard Murray Deaker interviewing Peter FitzSimons over the weekend about his new book, A Simpler Time.

Later I was at a dinner party where three of us had heard the
interview and two had not. We recounted the highlights, leaving very little out, and had the others in stitches. FitzSimons is a storyteller. He does other things, but he's a storyteller. Otherwise, we would not have remembered the wording and been able to nearly see & smell the scenes and funny anecdotes he described. His people came alive and I woulda loved to have met his mum.

A taster:

"It still amazes me what they allowed us to do without their supervision or help while remaining deeply loving parents. Climb trees from the age of four or five? No problem. Drive the tractor from the age of eight or nine onwards? Good luck to you. Haul on the hoist to pull the half-ton bins filled with oranges off the trailer? Yes. Take your bike out on the Pacific Highway and ride to school? Just be careful, but okay ...

Their rough reckoning was that if we thought we could do something, we probably could - and if we thought we couldn′t do something, we probably still could, if we applied ourselves."

Girl With A Satchel blogger got her dad's view of the book:
Those looking for FitzSimons the rugby player, biographer, journalist, husband or father will be disappointed, as the memoir concentrates solely on his formative years. But if a childhood dictates future prosperity, there's sense in crediting his parents for laying solid foundations for his success.
Harper Collins describes it as:

Peter FitzSimons′s account of growing up on the rural outskirts of Sydney in the 1960s is first and foremost a tribute to family. But it is also a salute to times and generations past, when praise was understated but love unstinting; work was hard and values clear; when people stood by each other in adversity.

Above all, in the FitzSimons home, days were for doing. In this rollicking and often hilarious memoir, Peter describes a childhood of mischief, camaraderie, eccentric characters, drama - and constant love and generosity. The childhood of a simpler time.

My library has three copies on order. I might have to go out and buy one, or two.
Get it for your Kindle.

A Simpler Time: A memoir of love, laughter, loss and billycarts
By Peter FitzSimons, a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald.
He is the author of nearly twenty books - including Tobruk and biographies of Nancy Wake, Kim Beazley, Nene King, Nick Farr-Jones, Steve Waugh and John Eales - and was Australia’s bestselling non-fiction writer in 2001 and 2004.

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